Tag Archives: Christ

#goshrewd…Don’t Hide, But Be Clever For Christ!

Sometimes you hear a story with such a schemingly devious ingenuity that, even though you know it is wrong, for a moment…just a moment, you say, “well done, guy; well done.” Such is the case with Australian electrician, Tom Colella. Over the last two years, Colella successfully ditched work to play golf over 140 times, using only a foil potato chip bag and a lot of deception!

I know. Some of you are shaking your heads, saying, “how terrible.” Others are asking, “how?…I just want to know for a friend!”

Well, Colella had a GPS tracking device he has to carry for his work. But when he put the device in a foil potato chip bag, it masked where he was. Then, he put information in the computer system that looked like he was completing his tasks.

Ok. Clever. But guess what? You can’t hide forever. And when they found out, Colella was fired.

I’m reminded of a manager in Luke 16. He cheats his master out of accounts receivable in order to ingratiate himself with future potential employers. Rather than a penalty, though, the master simply “praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly.” Yes, I said praised.

Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t mean the servant was good or right or saved. He just did something clever.

So Jesus makes this point: “the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.” Did you catch that? He isn’t congratulating or encouraging sin. Jesus simply wants His disciples to diligently manage spiritual things at least as well as people who are focused on worldly things!

That’s a tall order. The people of this world are constantly working to maximize profit, meet customer demands, and exceed expectations. But, what if Christians were so interested in promoting the gospel that they tried as hard as worldly minded people do?

Christ isn’t looking for folks who want to get out of work with tin foil bags. But He is looking for a few folks who will use their brains and hearts for His glory! #goshrewd

I’m His Friend, And I Have An Appointment!

“I’m a friend of the President. I have an appointment!” At least that is what Jonathan Tuan-Anh Tran said when he jumped the fence at the White House. Tran managed to get near the White House wearing a backpack containing 2 cans of pepper spray, a book written by Trump, a passport, and other items.

The Secret Service stopped Tran, and confirmed that he did not have an appointment. And…no surprise, he is not Trump’s friend. They took Tran into custody, but released him to home arrest until his April court date.

Sitting down to chat with the President of the United States is beyond the ability of most people. There was a time when the public could stroll into the White House to have conversations with Presidents such as Jackson or Lincoln. Those days are long gone, but many would still like the opportunity.

Wanting to speak with leaders is nothing new. In fact, in the days of Solomon, we are told that, “All the earth was seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart” (1 Kings 10:24). All the earth wanted to meet Solomon! One person, the Queen of Sheba, took a trip to see him and was amazed at his great wisdom.

But did you know that we have easy access to Solomon’s wisdom today through God’s Word? In fact, we have access to the wisdom of one far greater – the God who gave Solomon his wisdom. We have access to the King and His Kingdom.

Sadly, though, few will take the opportunity to hear His wisdom. Even fewer attempt to enter His Kingdom. Consider this: People will jump fences to try to force a meeting with the President. Will the children of light be so bold as to approach the throne with confidence in Christ?

Now here is the great news: if you are in Christ, you truly are a friend of God’s and you do have an appointment. In fact, He desires to spend eternity with all who are willing to come to Him through His Son!

He Took My Mail…And That’s Ok!

Remember the Seinfeld where Newman was hoarding mail? Well, Joseph Brucato made Newman look small-time. Plagued by depression and alcohol addiction, Brucato, a New York mailman, admitted to stashing 40,000 pieces of mail, weighing over 1 ton. The mail was stashed in his apartment, his car, and his locker at the post office. It spanned a decade of “lost” mail.

Brucato is not alone though. Patrick Pascett was found guilty recently of dumping 1,000 pieces of mail in dumpsters along his route because he didn’t feel like delivering them. In North Carolina, Gary Collins hoarded enough mail to fill two dump trucks. And in California, postal worker, Sherry Watanabe, was hiding 48,000 pieces of mail at her home.

To say the least, the slogan “neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow” has taken a few dings because of the actions of a few disturbed people.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t miss most of my mail – junk mail, solicitations, etc. I’d especially like it if they kept my bills. Of course, it wouldn’t do any good unless they paid them too! After all, “my mailman stole my letter” won’t work with creditors. We are responsible for our bills, whether delivered or not.

There is a striking resemblance to salvation. We have all fallen short of God’s perfection because of our sins (Romans 3:23). And the paycheck in the mail, or wages, “of sin is death.” But thanks be to God, “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

God intercepted our letter of death, and He paid the bill Himself! We have a new letter (2 Corinthians 3:6). It is a letter of life that has been written, not in stone, but in our hearts. It is signed in the blood of Christ.

Our new letter reads: “Paid in full, with love, Jesus.” Now that is mailman hoarding I can get behind!

Safety Is In the Boat – In Fishing and Salvation!

Ross Chapman was fishing off the coast of Australia. He had just caught a 450lb marlin, tagged it, and released it. As he was releasing the marlin, he knocked his GoPro camera overboard, reached out to grab it, and fell into the ocean. His boat, still in gear from boating the marlin, drifted away faster than he could catch it.

Chapman spent 6 hours in the water. Thankfully, other fisherman saw his boat drifting, rallied others to the search, and found him in the open ocean. Had they not found him, he would have remained in waters known to have jellyfish, sharks, and orcas.

Now, as anyone who has boated much knows, bad stuff can happen on the water. A couple of lessons are clear: 1) don’t fish alone, and 2) don’t reach overboard for your camera if your boat is in gear! Still, I can’t imagine the horrible feeling of watching my boat motor away into the open ocean.

It is almost too obvious to say, but “safety is found in the boat.”

In many ways, salvation is likened to a boat in the Bible. Of course, the oldest lesson came in the days of Noah (Genesis 7:23, 1 Peter 3:20). Getting in, and staying in, the ark saved eight souls. In the New Testament, Paul warned that abandoning the ship would cause death (Acts 27:31).

When teaching salvation, most people concentrate on the “getting in” part. They concentrate on belief, or perhaps repentance, confession, or even baptism. And, of course, the “getting in” is essential. But some forget to teach the equal importance of “staying in” Christ!

The New Testament consistently teaches: salvation is for those who stay in Christ. Getting in is just the beginning. We must be wary against falling from grace (Galatians 5:4), abandoning the faith (1 Timothy 4:1, 6:21, 2 Timothy 2:18), or shipwrecking our salvation (1 Timothy 1:19).

Get in Christ, remain in Christ, and arrive safely at your eternal destination – heaven. And be careful what you reach out for in this world…it might just cause you to fall out of the boat!